'Mommy is broken without you': Athena Strand's mom pays heartbreaking tribute to slain little girl

'Mommy is broken without you': Athena Strand's mom pays heartbreaking tribute to slain little girl
Athena Strand's mother, Maitlyn Presley Gandy, paid a heartbreaking tribute to her daughter days after she was murdered (Maitlyn Presley Gandy/Facebook)

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WISE COUNTY, TEXAS: Murdered Athena Strand's mother paid a heartbreaking tribute to her daughter days after she was abducted and murdered by 31-year-old FedEx driver Tanner Lynn Horner. Strand was reported missing from her Texas home on November 30. The next day, cops identified Horner as a suspect after an AMBER alert was issued. However, Strand's body was discovered on December 2 by Wise County police and the FBI about six miles from her house.

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"Her name is Athena Presley Monroe Strand. She was perfect from her creation. She was born perfect and too beautiful. Daddy and mommy were scared of how beautiful she has always been and we feel like we failed you. No one deserves what happened to you, but especially you. I love you and love doesn’t even cover it. Mommy is broken without you," Athena's mother Maitlyn Presley Gandy wrote on Facebook.

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Athena Strand's grandfather says he 'forgives' her killer Tanner Horner in heartbreaking post

Athena Strand: Body of missing Texas girl, 7, found after she was kidnapped and killed by FedEx driver

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Horner confessed to kidnapping and killing Athena, The US Sun reported. He was reportedly charged with capital murder and kidnapping. The FBI reportedly confirmed that Athena died just an hour after being kidnapped. Meanwhile, in an official statement, FedEx said, "Words cannot describe our shock and sorrow at the reports surrounding this tragic event."

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The company added, "First and foremost, our thoughts are with the family during this most difficult time, and we continue to cooperate fully with the investigating authorities. At this time, any further questions should be directed to law enforcement.”

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Social media users took to the comment section of Maitlyn's post, saying the only person to be blamed is Horner. "You absolutely did NOT fail that baby. None of this is your fault. This could happen to anyone sadly. It's a sick, evil, demon who is to blame. We grieve with you mama, though I know your grief is beyond compare. I'm so sorry for what you're going through and for what your precious child went through. I'm so sorry that such evil and horror exists in this world. I hope the man who did this is punished to the fullest extent of the law and that his remaining days are horrible," one user wrote. Another said, "The most beautiful little girl. There are a lot of monsters and sick people in this world. But I promise you that sick monster will pay for it. May she RIP and is surrounded by GODS love and the Angels. This hurts my heart." "Please never blame yourself. That's not your burden to carry. I'm certain you are a wonderful Mommy. The only person to blame is the selfless monster that took her life."

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"You didn’t fail her, that sheik monster did this! Never blame yourself. I cannot even fathom the emotions & pain your feeling but I pray for comfort for you. I unfortunately didn’t know this sweet girl but what I do know is you have an ENTIRE NATION behind you for justice for your sweet girl!" one user wrote, while another said, "I’m so sorry this happened to her and your family. I hope he gets everything he deserves." One user commented, "My heart is completely broken & crushed for you and your family. Every since this story came out I feel physically sick to my stomach. May your absolutely perfect, beautiful and precious daughter rest in Gods arms. I hope that disgusting monster rots in hell."

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This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.

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